Thehas been crowned Motorhome of the Year 2023 – it also won the Motorhome Innovation of the Year 2023 award.
A true staircase that leads to the generous Instant Loft upstairs bedroom… Curved glass around the rear lounge to create an Infinity Screen… A solid bamboo tabletop that slides away under the seats… Two sanitary rooms in one, via an expanding wall… A home office area… A walk-on sundeck… Just one of those features might have had the Venture S in the running for the Motorhome of the Year award.
With all of them included – and more – it was a foregone conclusion that it would win.
Even before you raise its incredible inflatable roof, the Venture S looks special.
For a start, it’s clearly not a vehicle that has to stay on the road.
Built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4 chassis cab with 18in off-road tyres, its Raptor paint (in a choice of two colours) was developed by BASF to be especially resilient to stone chips.
The cab and slim coachbuilt body are beautifully integrated, while, at the rear of the motorhome, the split tailgate (Range Rover-style) has a lower section that folds horizontally to create the Sunset Deck – a platform that can be reached either via an exterior ladder or the interior of the motorhome.
It has an anti-slip surface and features a 350kg load capacity.
If the weather isn’t good enough for that, the rear lounge features curved 3D panoramic glass to provide 180-degree views.
This is your dining area, too, with a table that simply slides out – and up – from beneath one of the sofas.
Inside, the most remarkable aspect, though, must be the staircase – truly, you go upstairs to bed in this motorhome.
Hymer calls it a ‘private roof terrace with the comfort of a luxury penthouse.’
For once, that’s no exaggeration, as the Instant Loft roof is nothing like a campervan’s pop-top.
It has pneumatic walls with four-layer insulation to keep out heat and cold, as well as light and noise.
Of course, there’s heating up there, too.
With a motorhome like this, you won’t want to be restricted to staying on campsites, so the Venture S comes with three 115W solar panels in combination with the Hymer Smart Battery System 2.0 with up to 320Ah lithium battery capacity.
The company believes that you’ll be able to enjoy up to 10 days of self-sufficient touring.
The Hymer Venture S also won the Motorhome Innovation of the Year 2023 award.
Hymer Venture S: Price from: £197,540 Base vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 2 Length: 6.45m Width: 2.16m Height: 3.07m Gross weight: 4,100kg Payload: 535kg
Peter Vaughan, head of the judging panel and road test editor of MMM said: “There was only one word possible on seeing the Venture S for the first time – wow.
“The original concept was mind-blowing, but what is truly remarkable is that Hymer has been able to bring that vision to production virtually unchanged.”
Rachel Stothert, awards judge and deputy editor MMM said: “Though the price tag is a little eye-watering, this Hymer is jam-packed with innovative, unique features, topped off by an über-stylish interior and sub-cool exterior look.”
Full list of the Motorhome Awards 2023 winners: Motorhome of the Year 2023 overall winner: Hymer Venture S Best Compact Motorhome 2023: Bürstner Lyseo TD 594 Harmony Line Best Motorhome Under £60,000 2023: Auto-Trail F-Line F60 Best Drop-Down Bed Motorhome 2023: Pilote Évidence P696U Best Family Motorhome 2023: Roller Team Auto-Roller 707 Best Fixed Double Bed Motorhome 2023: Rapido 696F Ultimate Line Best Fixed Single Bed Motorhome 2023: Itineo Famili CJ660 Best Luxury Motorhome 2023: Coachman Travel Master 545 Best Motorhome Innovation 2023: Hymer Venture S Public Vote – Motorhome Dealer of the Year 2023: SMC Motorhomes Newark
Coachman Travel Master 545: Luxury Motorhome of the Year 2023
It’s not every year that a major new brand enters the motorhome market and perhaps never before has one started off with a high-end model that’s gone straight to the top of its class.
Of course, Coachman already had decades of experience building caravans and its takeover by Swedish maker, Kabe, was just what it needed to go from tuggers to luggers.
Its first-ever motorhomes, called Travel Master, were only launched in February 2022, and they combine extensive experience from a brand that knows a thing or two about coping with harsh Scandinavian winters with British-style layouts and design.
So, here’s a motorhome with NCC approval and its habitation door on the UK side, and which stands comparison with the likes of Carthago and Hymer.
Built in Sweden, it excels for winter camping, of course.
There’s non-porous Ecoprim insulation, a double overlap where walls and roof meet and aluminium-skinned walls inside as well as out for better heat distribution.
Internally, the walls are lined with a breathable carpet to eliminate condensation.
Warmth, as you’d expect, is from Alde’s radiator-based system, which also includes underfloor heating for added luxury.
There are details that we’ve never come across before, too, such as a pump to suck water out of the shower tray – all in the interests of stopping frost damage.
Of course, having a motorhome with very superior insulation isn’t just about staying cosy on your skiing trip, but also keeping cool in record-breaking summers, and the Travel Master also has Dometic Freshjet air-conditioning as standard.
That’s just one of a number of items that you’d pay extra for on most rivals.
Forget a long options list, adding thousands to the list price – here, the only factory add-on is an awning (at £1,300).
Alloy wheels, a 140W solar panel, external shower, barbecue and TV points, and leather-style cab seats are just some of the standard features.
It’s a Merc cab with Al-Ko chassis, too, rather than the Fiat of other British flagship models.
Of course, it has the 170bhp engine and nine-speed automatic gearbox, as well as a 4,500kg maximum gross weight, so that you can make good use of the garage.
The front lounge feels extra-spacious because there’s no fixed table – a round coffee table and free-standing dining table are provided instead.
Above, a drop-down bed is standard and it comes with shelves, USBs and a huge rooflight.
The main is an island double at the back – and it’s supersized at over 2m long.
The opposing shower and toilet that make an en suite are as you’d anticipate but the kitchen feels more like a British ’van than a continental one.
There’s a fitted microwave, while the cooker has a separate grill and oven as well as a mains hotplate.
The fridge is as big as they come, with a 177-litre capacity, but the excellent storage is what impressed us most in the galley.
Coachman Travel Master 545: Price from: £122,000 Base vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter Al-Ko Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 8.06m Width: 2.47m Height: 2.96m Gross weight: 4,500kg Payload: 850kg